Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Oct 17, 2007


I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly summary, great to send to busy executives.

I’ve created a new category called Digest where you can start to track and access these going forward. The hope? To make it easy for a web strategist to quickly scan the activity in the last week. I strive to make headlines on items categorized and succinct.

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Web Strategy Summary
Continued discussion about the much needed social graph, although no one has delivered. Debates rage over the future and present value of hyped up Facebook giant. More competitors continue to discuss their relevancy but actions are not seen, but at least we’re not just talking about Facebook anymore. Remember folks, just because you’re first, doesn’t mean you’re the best, remember when Yahoo was the dominant search engine?

Segmentation: eBay to deploy social features
eBay to launch a social networking feature for their website, the content taxonomy isn’t around people or locations, but around product genres’ and types. A few months back, I predicted that Social Networks will become a feature of a website.

Competition: Google hints About SoNet Plan
This is the Gorilla in the room to watch, they’ve already a large user base, the most viewed domains on the web, and hundreds of existing applications that can benefit from third party development. What’s first? The social graph, a feature that is hinted at being one of the first features to be released. Reports are surfacing that Google may use subterfuge to deploy AdSense on existing widgets, eroding Facebook’s advertising monopoly in the platform.

Disbelief: SoNets not Social? Not productive and sucks
Before we all jump on the bandwagon, it’s great to hear some other perspectives of the downsides of this industry. JR questions if Social Networks are really all that social, he wonders if we’ve lost something along the way. Others question if Social networks are a time waster, or the next big thing in collaboration, internal or external. Dave Winer gives reasons why Facebook sucks, a must read. Just as long as we don’t see any mashups with Hatebook, I’m not really concerned.

Rejected: Reasons your Facebook account is revoked
With the growth of Facebook, they’ve been criticized for having sub-standard support and service. The team at Get Satisfaction have listed out a few trivial reasons (as well as just ones) why your account could be frozen, and maybe not recovered at all.

Strategy: LinkedIn discusses it’s position
I enjoy reading a leaders vision on the company, and how LinkedIn’s CEO discusses the future plan for it’s already successful, yet slower social network. They have already announced to release a platform, but apparently their version will have some restrictions on what type of applications will be allowed, not the juvenile ones we see in Facebook.

Money: Valuation of Facebook hotly debated
From fanboys to realists, the true value of highly pumped Facebook is debated. Some claim it could be worth 100 billion, and others claim it could take down Google or Yahoo. To be honest, I’d prefer to hear some financial experts weigh in on this, rather than a bunch of loud bloggers.

Globalization: Hi5 launches multiple languages
I’m watching the Hi5 network carefully, and you should too, they’ve announced a few times on their blog they’re releasing various languages for their network. French, Romanian, Polish, and Spanish, could help them get true full global adoption, something we’ve yet to see, join the discussion forums to learn more. As you should know, they’re going to have a widget framework soon.

Best Practice: How to use SoNets to build relationships
For many, socialization in real life is already difficult, the benefits of online social networks ease the challenges of meeting others online, and this helpful guide tells you how, PR and communication folks please read.

Competition: Facebook aiming to wipe LinkedIn
Complacent LinkedIn hasn’t made significant changes to it’s architecture in some time, many wonder, why should they? They’re already profitable and successful. Others note that Facebook wants to clearly move into the networking space, taking market share in an area that LinkedIn is already making revenues at.

Usage: Facebook’s seasonal traffic changes
Facebook traffic, according to GigaOm, has seasonal lulls, and a Facebook official helps to confirm this is true. Others wonder if the numbers that GigaOm was displaying were accurate, read and make your own judgment.

Ageism: Apps are for children and being over 40 is creepy
Kara Swisher rants on the immaturity of many of the popular Facebook apps. She’s right, have we truly unlocked the business opportunities this platform could launch? Yes being over 40 in Facebook is just downright creepy.

Irony: Jeremiah is hypocritical

Just yesterday I ranted on bloggers that summarize and add no value, and here I am with a wrap up. Shame shame. Well, truth be told, no one else is cutting the data in a way like this (automated or human), and I’m adding my additional thoughts and knee jerk analysis, trying not to regurgitate, only. Given the demand from these posts, it looks like I’m adding value, so I’ll continue. Just coming clean.

I’m hearing from various folks that this Digest series is getting popular, please pass it on to others. If anyone wants to create a unique feed for it, just showing the ‘digest’ category, please leave a comment when you’ve done it. I don’t have the time to deal with creating it, and I’d rather you just subscribe to the whole thing.